Vegan Borscht

“This is a modification of my mother’s original Borscht recipe. My mother and I perfected this recipe together. Remember you can cook your own navy beans from dry or use canned navy beans. Borscht has always been a favourite soup of mine, so it became imperative that I come up with a vegan or vegetarian version*.” - Theresa

Serves: 10 to 12 servings

Prep time: 30 to 40  minutes*

Cooking time: 45 to 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon (15 mL) each of coconut & olive oil
1-256 g package mushrooms, sliced 
2 onions, chopped
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-L low sodium package vegetable stock
8 to 10 cups (2 to 2.5 L) Vegan Stock
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of parsley
5 to 6 strands of thyme
2 bay leaves


3 to 4 carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 bunch of beets (usually 3), peeled and sliced
1-720 mL jar of puréed strained tomatoes 
1 small head of organic cabbage, shredded or
Half a small cabbage, shredded and 3 cups (750 mL)
of bok choy, kale & collard greens, thinly sliced
1-15 ounce can of navy beans or precooked beans**
1 tablespoon (30 mL) of white vinegar
1 teaspoon (15 mL) pink salt 
1 to 2 small potatoes (cooked separately per serving)

DIRECTIONS

1. To begin making this soup, take a large stock pot and heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil. Sauté mushrooms on high heat until the mushrooms are lightly browned and begin to sweat. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Then add leek, celery and garlic. Add 2 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat,

2. Add dill, parsley and thyme in a bundle tied with string. Also add two bay leaves and the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Then add carrots. Cook until al dente. Then add beets and tomato sauce. Cook beets at least 30 minutes until they become translucent. Taste to make sure vegetables are cooked to your liking.

4. Add salt, greens and sliced cabbage. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the navy beans and continue to cook on low.

5. When the borscht is almost complete add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of white vinegar and mix well. Continue to cook until the flavours are blended. Approximately, 5 or 10 minutes. 

SERVING SUGGESTION

1. Place potatoes at the bottom of the bowl and pour borscht over potatoes. 

2. You can add a little soy or almond milk to the borscht.

3. This  soup is usually served with a dark Russian bread and I use a vegan spread in place of  butter.

*  Vegetarian version includes a dollop of sour cream.

** Prep time does not include overnight pre soaking of navy beans.

** Precooked navy beans: I usually take 1 cup (250 mL) pre soaked beans and cook in vegetable stock for 30 to 45 minutes (until tender) the morning of and set aside.  


THERESA’S TIP:

1. Do not overcook the vegetables. You want to keep the vegetables al dente, retaining their nutritional value.

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